Monk’s prison uniform sparks protest in Sri Lanka

20 June 2018, 06:19 PM

The Sri Lankan prison authorities’ decision to make monk Galagodatte Gnanasara wear a prison uniform has caused a protest in the country.

Following the arrest of Gnanasara, who headed the extremist Buddhist nationalist group Bodu Bala Sena (Forces of Buddhist Power), Buddhist monk groups held street protests across the country.

Galagodatte Gnanasara was charged for carrying out threats against the Muslim minority and for contempt of court. He was ordered jail term last week for six months sentence for threatening a woman in court premises, according to reports.

Responding to a scholar of the Buddhist monk sects, Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale said everyone was equal before law and anyone sentenced to jail must obey the provisions in the Prisons Act.

A scholar monk representing one of the Buddhist monk sects wrote to the Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale crying foul over prison authorities’ action to “disrobe” Gnanasara.

Different Buddhist monks groups have called for President Maithripala Sirisena’s attention to grant the monk a presidential pardon and release him.

Gnanasara led anti-Muslim minority hatred during the former regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Muslims accused the then government of protecting him. 

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 06:10 PM
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